Exclusive

Brothers & Sisters Exclusive: Find Out What Would've Happened to the Walkers in Season 6

Somewhere, the Walkers are drinking a lot of wine — as are their fans.

In early May, ABC dropped the axe on Brothers & Sisters amid reports that a shortened sixth season of the veteran family drama was being considered. In the end, budgetary issues brought the Walkers’ journey of secret siblings, partnership issues, lost love and family ties to an end.

Below, executive producer David Marshall Grant tells TVLine what he would have changed about the de facto series finale, hints at what was in store for the Walkers — another health scare for Kitty? — and reveals what it was like saying goodbye to the show’s on and offscreen family.

TVLINE | What was your reaction when ABC told you the show had been canceled?
I was, of course, sad. But everything must come to an end at some point. We had five great years. That’s a long run on television. I am so grateful for those years, and I’m so glad that we could tell as many stories as we could.

TVLINE | Did ABC give you a reason for the cancellation?
It really ends up being a budgetary situation. Our show was very expensive to produce and there are ways that we were saving money along the years. I think that there was an attempt to find a way to hit that magic number that [ABC] could produce the show at. And I think they just finally were unable to do it.

TVLINE | Over the years, you’ve had to say good-bye to a number of castmembers. Was it a relief, in a way, because now you wouldn’t have to trim the cast further?
I don’t think anybody was going to get cut, but [we would've had to] lessen the number of episodes that people were going to be in. I think that we could have augmented some of that with new faces. But yes, the truth is we were a family drama and at some point if you start to lose more and more of the family, it becomes less and less of what it was in the beginning. I think that as was said at the end of the finale, families change and they adapt and they become something else. I think that’s true of all families. So I think you could choose to look at the possibility of a different kind of evolving family and keep going. So I don’t think that it’s a relief that way, but you’re correct to point out that the original stories of just that family had shifted.

TVLINE | Speaking of the family, have you talked to any of the cast? How are they handling the news?
I’ve spoken to some of the cast, and I’ve exchanged e-mails. Brothers & Sisters was a family show, and I think it was a family that put it together. Starting from Robbie Baitz, who created it. His creation and his imprint on the family has lasted all the way through to the the finale. Likewise, [executive producers] Greg Berlanti, Allison [Schapker] and Monica [Breen], [director] Ken Olin… I bring up all these names because television is such a collaborative art. I think especially when you are doing a family drama, it really becomes sort of the essence of collaboration because people bring to the table their stories. And the actors brought their stories and their views of the world and that always made an impression on the writers. … You see it on the screen, and the truth is that their contributions really are parts of a whole. It’s all part of this family dynamic that intersects and creates this larger thing, which is larger than the brother, or the sister, or the uncle, or the mother. It’s the family.

TVLINE | In the finale, there were a lot of storylines that had closure. Did you see the writing on the wall?
I felt that we had a chance of getting picked up, but we also had a chance of not. I have to be honest: I thought it was a possibility. It came down to the wire. With that in mind, I felt I needed to do two things. What we tried to do was create a finale that had some closure in the sense that we had Scotty and Kevin with their family, Sarah getting married to Luc and discovering that Beau Bridges was her father, Nora falling in love with Brody, and Justin reconnecting to the girl he met in Season One…  These are ways of trying to give closure to this family, but at the same time the closure also represented the beginning of a new family, which was Brody’s daughter, who showed up in that finale; and Kitty being pregnant with Seth’s baby and the idea that that had some kind of medical jeopardy for her. And the fact that the girl that Justin reconnected with was married. Also, if Brody and Nora were going to live together, they had a new, larger extended family now to deal with because Brody clearly, as he says, has five children, if you count Sarah. So it was both closure and, at the same time, we were hoping that we were opening the door to a new world where there was a new family, a larger family.

TVLINE | Is there anything you would have changed about the episode had you known going in it was going to be a series finale?
I would have probably not had a medical problem looming for Kitty and her pregnancy. And I think I probably would have taken Justin’s relationship with [Tyler] further. The fact that she was married was setting up conflict and problems for him next season.

TVLINE | Were there any storylines you already had in the idea bin for next season?
We were definitely interested in Brody’s kids. I thought that his daughter would have been a great character. … Sarah had new brothers and sisters. So we were really interested in exploring Sara’s new family with Brody and how that could present conflict with the Walkers, because she now would have one foot in two worlds. Kevin and Scotty had finally created this family that they always wanted, so we were looking forward to telling the story of a gay family with two kids and what that means in terms of the world that we live in today. There was always the possibility of trying to think of that series ending [with] big drama. Something that would have been big for Nora. For Kitty, we were thinking seriously about whether or not we were going to put her in real medical peril because of the pregnancy and give her a choice  — a choice that she clearly made: Her unborn baby was going to be more important to her… Kitty was going to, obviously, refuse the chemo or whatever therapy she needed so that she didn’t harm her baby. And then the baby was going to be born fine and then we were going to decide what happened to Kitty.

TVLINE | Was the plan to have Seth back next season?
Yeah, we were going to bring Seth back.

TVLINE | Was there any thought about bringing back Emily VanCamp or Patricia Wettig if there was another season?
We would have loved to have brought Emily back and Patty. The Harpers were part of the show for so long, so it would have been so great to have had them come back for a few episodes.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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636 Comments
  1. blacksea says:

    producer, writers, failed to continue .no imagination. no creative.

  2. Kim says:

    If everyone is disappointed and the show is FOR the viewers, why not push through and give us some finality to the greatest show that’s been on tv since I can remember? ABC has so much going on how is bugdetary issues the reason? NOt even a warning or a wrap up…seems so counter-intuitive to the purpose of TV! Pan Am is a ridiculous alternative…ridiculous!

    • Tina says:

      ABC…part of the Disney enterprise…and they couldn’t afford to do a decent SERIES FINALE?
      Really? I thought maybe an extended season off…and I just checked online to find out what happened. I am shocked and disappointed to find out it was cancelled. What? Pan Am? GCB? Seriously?

      NBC here I come…better yet, I might just read a book.

  3. KathyI says:

    Sometimes networks do very stupid things. This was a great show and will be missed.

  4. Bev says:

    I just recently learned about brothers and sisters, I watched all 5 seasons on netflix. I laughed and cried and cried some more. I felt like I personaly knew every person on the show. I was so sad to learn that it all ended at season 5 . Thank you thou for the seasons that were aired. It is truley the best show I have ever watched.

  5. Velma says:

    I do not have TV so have enjoyed watching B&S on DVDs. I, too, am so disappointed the show has been cancelled. I came to feel I was part of the family. For a single person entertainment like this can fill many otherwise lonely hours. I am so sad, but a big, big thank you for all–Seasons 1-5. I have not checked yet. Is 5 out on DVD yet?

  6. Kitty says:

    I didn´t like the 5th season without Robert and Kitty together. I think Kitty´s reactions and feelings after Robert was gone were too unrealistic and that´s one of the reasons the show went down. Kitty and Robert, besides Scotty and Kev, were the only couple who really loved each other. They had been through so much together. At least in season 5 they should´ve gone a little bit more around Robert´s dead and Kitty´s feeling. I would´ve loved that instead of starting one year later, the series would have started after the accident with Kitty pregnant of Robert´s and Robert at the hospital; and Kitty dealing with all this new situation. They could have left him at the hospital for a couple of episodes and then have him back as a guest star. On the other hand, the way they killed Rebecca and Justin´s storyline was awful. The last season was completely different from the first ones. I truly enjoyed the series all the way ´till season 4 but I think they made terrible decisions in the storylines and that´s why many of the actors decided to leave. Sally Field is amazing, she is the heart and soul of the show and what they did about the whole Brody situation was awful, the whole point of the Walker family is that Nora was an amazing mother and completely different from William. I´ve been watching the series on dvd now and no matter how many times I watch it I always get so mad when season 5 starts. In my mind; i just imagine that Kitty dies and she finally finds peace because she knows she´ll be with Robert again; Sarah and Luc leave to France, Justin goes to New York to find Rebecca ´cause he understands she´s the love of her life. Nora stays with Evan and the new baby and raises them; Kevin and Scotty live happily ever after. Julia dies and Tommy stays with Elizabeth.

    • Carol says:

      I completely agree. Nothing was the same without Robert.

    • Tara says:

      I almost completely agree with you! I loved season 1-4. Season 5 was very disappointing. The only difference I would make is that although I understand Kitty dying to be with Robert, I selfishly would want Kitty to stay. Everything else I agree with.

  7. Michelle says:

    I am new to Brothers and Sisters, I watch it of course on Netflix due to the fact that I work 12hr night shifts. I just started looking up how many seasons and if it was still on ABC. Unfortunately it’s not after reading this. I have only made it to season 4, but I have watched each season straight through talk about long hours! I just wanted say I hate knowing that the show was canceled and I want to thank you as well. Brothers and Sisters has allowed me to understand changes within my own family and to realize we are the family we were as a whole but through our family issues we have changed some for the better and some for the worst. We were that family that had it all and then truths came out. We are still strong, but bc we now know the truth about who we are and how we became the family we are today. I REALLY DISLIKE THAT THE SHOW WAS CANCELED! But still thank you for the seasons you have been able to show!!!

  8. mel brown says:

    brothers and sisters has to be the best thing ever on tv i loved it ive even bought all the box set and started watching it again amazing plz plz bring it back xx

  9. Susanne says:

    please please please ABC bring back brothers and sisters, iv just watched the boxed set of the series and cant understand how money could be an issue, it was so very popular with viewers all over the world

  10. Pam Cat says:

    Pan Am in place of Brothers and Sisters, what a joke! I will not watch Pan Am in protest

  11. Kate says:

    Hard to believe it’s been a year since they cancelled it… and i’m still heartbroken. The Walkers felt like family to me! BRING BACK BROTHERS AND SISTERS! With Desperate Housewives and Terra Nova! All I have left to watch is Modern Family, NCIS, Criminal Minds and Touch!
    I’ll just continue watching B&S over, and over, and over, and over, and over! BRING IT BACK!

  12. Paula rhodes says:

    I just started watching on soapnet but I want more. Brothers and sisters is an awsome show has helped me by distracting me from some real crap thats been happening in my life. Please bring it back I have lost alot of shows on abc lately this is one that was really helping me.

  13. Antonia says:

    I recently viewed the entire collection of Brothers and Sisters, which I never had an opportunity to see when it ran on television. This was one of the most well-written and well-acted television programs I have ever seen. It was smart, sensitive, funny, and often very real in its representation of the rage, conflict, and tension that can exist, even between and among people who absolutely love one another. The series portrayed the complexity of family life and the many contradictions that betray our best efforts and promises to one another. In the midst of it all, it provided us strong characters and gave us an arena to witness their histories of struggle with life’s ups and downs. Moreover, repeatedly the series moved us to acknowledge the power of forgiveness and a deeper understanding of what it means to love one another, through thick and thin. Just as learning to grief and mourn life’s losses and disappointments were such a large part of the story, I felt a real sense of disappointment at the end of this powerful series, which provided me both the distance and opportunity for on-going reflection on my own life as a mother, sister, lover, friend. Axing Brothers and Sisters was a huge mistake by network executives, who ultimately failed to understand that good family drama is more than just entertainment. It did what good theatrical drama was always suppose to do—provide us a safe place from which to contend (consciously or unconsciously) with the best and worst in ourselves. So, rather than remaining ever disabled by our old disappointments, betrayals, and losses, we might come to better recognize the strength and fragile nature of our humanity. Not sure if anyone ever reads these posts anymore, but I had to give this last hurrah to the writers, directors, actors, and producers of Brothers and Sisters! As so many others have written above, the Walker family is truly missed!

  14. Roy says:

    I’m sorry to whatch this wonderful tv seriouse so late. I just finished it a couple weeks ago,and i was very sad to find that there are no more seasons, especially when i saw the lovely baby in S5 who is kevin and scotty’s. I just want to know more about the very cute baby, i love him too much!!!

  15. Imran Ahmad Khan says:

    Love the show ….every character is so well crafted and so well enacted by the immensely talented actors. Just cannot single out one actor…all of them are so REAL .. Just love Nora Walker , she’s such a cute mother……

  16. Tina says:

    After waiting and waiting for new series i have just found out there will be no more Brothers and Sisters….I am devastated…….Since my all time fave Ally McBeal finished i was waiting for something else to make me really look forward to watching……N this was it……It made u feel part of the family n i loved it ……again devasated…

  17. Justin says:

    Season six is supposed to be back on in Australia now (we run it later hence the delayed reaction) and although Revenge is good, there are a lot of people disappointed that Brothers and Sisters was axed and that it’s over without notice. The actors were top shelf, it was a quality produced show, and it was so similar to our lives and families here too. Ask them all back and do another 3 seasons because it rated well in Australia and was popular with all age groups with both Men and Women. Surfs Up – take care America :)

  18. Madie says:

    Im 19, and I only started watching mid season 5 (I was at my grandparents & they were watching it) I fell in love with it, I then bought season 1,2,3&4 and downloaded the beginning of season 5, I watched it all before the next episode, I loved this show so much. I wish they didnt cancel it. It needed season 6 closure (sure id love it to go to season 10). I still hope it will announce suprise season 6.

  19. MIKI says:

    what the f*** i love btrohters and sisters i really do!!! tis perfect drama showed me alot o fthings and learned me how important is the family and the life,OMG WHY CANCELLED? PLEASE COME BACK!!!! NOBODY IS GONNA WACH PAN AM!!!!

    :(

  20. MIKI says:

    BROTHERS AND SISTERS COME BACK!!!!!!!!!

    :(:( :((

  21. tyneisha henley says:

    Brothers and sister was like “MUST SEE TV SHOW YOU CAN’T MISS! Please bring it back cause there is more that us viewers needed to know and to find out out!

  22. xoch says:

    It is disappointing they should bring it back

  23. Amber says:

    I just finished all of the Seasons of Brothers and Sisters! I’ve never had so many emotions watching one show. The show was truly a remarkable piece of art, the casting, the story lines. As Sally Field or Nora Walker says in the last episode, “It’s never too late to be what you might of been.” -George Eliot. Thanks for all the laughs and tears!

  24. T.C says:

    I have patiently been waiting for the new season to air. I had no idea it was cancelled. Brothers & Sisters was my absolute favorite show. ABC I beg you to reconsider and please bring back my favorite show. It brought so much joy to my life watching on Sunday nights.

  25. Madison says:

    They need season 6, even if it’s just like 13 episodes for closure (like gossip girl is doing and one tree hill did) its kind of sad that keeping up with the kardashians last more seasons than a show about the true meaning of family.

  26. Cbjr says:

    Was a recent newcomer to the series via Netflix. Loved the first three seasons, but I can see why it was cancelled. Everything became repetitive, rehashing the same situations and story lines. After reading this interview, I’m glad season six didn’t get made. More relationship drama for Justin, more illness and near death for Kitty, more new half-siblings. Add that to the already done to death dating younger men, endless “startling” family secrets, frequent arguments and the inevitable touching make up, it just seemed like the writers ran out of ideas and just recycled scenarios the last couple seasons. Great show to begin with. I really liked how no matter the race, age, gender, orientation, income/position, that everyone was treated the same.

  27. Y says:

    Give somebody something great. They will love you for it and give you what matters the most. Loyalty! Yank it away ruthlessly and with disrespect. You will destroy loyalty forever. Just another solid reason to stop watching network TV as they repeatedly insult loyal audiences of great shows like “Brothers & Sisters” by not even extending the courtesy to announce its cancelation. Better to find a way to make the budget issues work then to face the day where there will be no reason to work out budget issues. That day is coming sooner than the shortsighted execs at ABC may think.

    • Liz says:

      I just bought all the seasons of this amazing series and watched them all over the past 3 weeks like a crack addict…. i am so sad they didn’t continue it. They taught about all the things real people experience in life. Bring it back and get rid of reality crap tv!

  28. Mohammed Hasan says:

    It should be a very smart move if they bring them back alive to the viewers who fell in love with Brothers and Sisters. ABC gonna make real money now if they start a new session.
    We the viewers are a big numbers and it spread out all over the world.

  29. Hester says:

    I will miss it….

  30. Shenita I says:

    I just found Brothers and Sisters on SoapNet. Shame on you ABC. You cancel the good shows like 666 Park and keep bad shows. I love the show Brothers and Sisters .

  31. Sheridan Johnston says:

    This is a quality show. A show with heart,
    intelligent script and fine acting.
    We’re all waiting for you to come up with
    Season 6. Cancel some of your so so
    shows and apply to Brothers and Sisters
    funding.
    Sheridan and Bob

  32. Lauryn says:

    It is extremely disappointing that this show was canceled. This was an amazing casting crew, especially Matthew Rhys. It’s sad the way that this show ended. There were many ways to extend this show. Really disappointed this show had to be cancelled considering this was the best family show I’ve seen. Not only family, but it showed real life stories and how they got through every thing AS A FAMILY!! I will miss this show and the amazing actors, especially Matthew Rhys.

  33. Denise says:

    Would love to see Brothers and Sisters come back,They took a show off that you could watch with your Family. Now their is not much I would want to sit home to watch..Thank God for netflix I still get to watch B&S Bring it back even if it is a look back at the walkers and where they ARE NOW PLEASE

  34. Ashley Francesco says:

    i loved the show i cant believe it ended like that they should bring it back

  35. Trinka says:

    maybe that is why ABC struggles so in the ratings! they do not understand the sense of family and longevity. just my thoughts

  36. Tara says:

    I loved the B&S show. I got hooked and watched all five seasons in like 2 weeks. Sad, I know but I couldnt stop watching. I soooo wish there was another season with a little more closure. I feel like things were left wide open with kitty, Justin and Tommy. I really liked Holly. Call me a crazy romantic but I REALLY wanted Justin and Rebecca to end up together and STAY together. Please bring it back!!

  37. margebergland says:

    I just finished watching Brothers and Sisters on Netflix. What an amazing series. I loved everyone in it but Sally Fields has always been a favorite of mine and she certainly did not disappoint in the show. I read that it was replaced by PAN AM. Duh! What a huge mistake they made. That show was a total waste of time and did not last very long. Cancelling Brothers and Sisters was foolish.

  38. chioma says:

    I am Nigerian and i and the girls at home love hanging out with the walkers.It wasnt very nice stopping the series so abruptly,especially when we absolutely had to watch the show anytime we came home from work.Its like you are a part of Nora’s family.

  39. chioma says:

    miss it so much.I’m Nigerian and i’d like to see nora and sarah and kitty and everyone.Pretty pls

  40. Melissa says:

    Je suis Française et j’ai vraiment adoré cette série. Les personnages sont super et l’histoire aussi. Je pense que toute série devrait etre terminé et je ne pense pas qu’une et derniere saison aurait été de trop. Il n’ai jamais trop tard pour faire la derniere saison. Nous sommes en 2013 et peut etre que ABC à plus d’argent aujourd’hui!? Faite nous rêver en terminant cette histoire :-)

  41. Catherine Flynn says:

    I have just finished watching the boxed set of brothers and sisters and have loved every minute of it. I cannot believe there is not a sixth series! ABC you really have to reconsider this!!

  42. Mark Stevens says:

    I worked long hours over the last several years and didn’t watch much tv or follow any shows. I quit my job recently and over the past two weeks have watched every single episode of Brothers and Sisters. OMG. I hibernated for a week watching every episode. I’m now depressed it’s over. I laughed, I cried, I really got into the whole group. Very talented, believable actors and writers. Fantastic JOB!!!!!!! Please do some more shows, or a movie…. or just write some more episodes and I’ll read them.

  43. claudia herrera says:

    Omg I just started watching this show on netflix and I am so mad that there is no 6th season. Abc how could you just end it suck I just loved this show. I think y I u should go back and finish it. Or continue it

  44. I hope it come back on because it was a good show you re guys should make season 6789. And 10 to make people happy and me

  45. Gary says:

    It is hard to believe that such an outstanding show did not continue for several more seasons. LOVE this show. There was something in it for everyone. Bring it back.

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  47. Marie magana says:

    I loved the series Brothers and Sisters so did many of my family and friends, bring it back PLEAS

  48. Marie magana says:

    Pic loved brothers and sisters series big fan, why was it canceled?????